Arkham knight ending : I recently completed Arkham Knight, and when I say “completed,” I mean it.
That, at least, is my definition of doing everything in an Arkham game except finding 200+ Riddler trophies, which in this case means destroying every watchtower, detonating every mine, and catching every single one of Gotham’s rogues in and out of the main storyline.
The first ending of Arkham Knight is fantastic, the second is mediocre, and the third is insane
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I completed the game with a score of 95%, which was more than enough to start the game’s chain reaction of endings.
Obviously, we’re about to veer into major spoiler territory, but before we get started, I’d like to clarify something.
My title may imply that the game follows the A/B/C format popularised by Mass Effect 3 and, to a lesser extent, Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
However, unlike those games, it does not lead to an expository cutscene about what might or might not have happened to Batman after the events of the game, depending on one final choice you make.
Rather, it’s a three-stage ending, which means that everyone has the same one, but you’ll only be able to unlock different parts of it if you play the game long enough.
But if you haven’t finished yet, put down your book and come back to see me once you’ve beaten it, by whatever definition you choose.
The storey ending, which is the first and most obvious ending of Arkham Knight, is bound to be divisive in its own right.
The entire game revolves around two villains: the familiar Scarecrow and the unfamiliar Arkham Knight, an armoured Batman clone who isn’t afraid to use firearms and commands a drone/merc army that swarms Gotham while Scarecrow plots his millionth fear gas attack.
The Arkham Knight’s identity is a big mystery to everyone, including Batman, for the duration of the game, and no amount of Alfred’s research turns up anything even resembling a clue as to who he might be.
Before the game’s release, Rocksteady promised that the Arkham Knight would be a completely unique creation created in collaboration with DC, which piqued fans’ interest.
They weren’t entirely truthful, as it turned out. The in-my-head Joker taunted Batman by showing him an elaborate flashback about when he executed Jason Todd, Batman’s second Robin, during a main mission about two-thirds of the way through the storey.
I knew where things were going at that point, and I wasn’t wrong.
The Joker’s hallucination would have been enough of a clue on its own, but I, like many Batman fans, am familiar with Under the Red Hood, a Batman storey in which Jason Todd is murdered by the Joker (as in a previous storey, Death in the Family) and rises from the dead to wreak havoc on both Batman and the Gotham underworld.
His identity is also unknown until it is revealed that Ra’s al Ghul attempted to resurrect Todd in a Lazarus Pit, but it failed and he went insane.
He attempts to assassinate the Joker, who murdered him the first time, and also has a grudge against Batman for allowing him to die.
A variation of this storey is told in the more recent Hush storey, in which Todd is a stand-in for another masked villain (who weirdly also shows up in Arkham Knight).
The Arkham Knight is a dark take on the Red Hood. Joker reveals that he simply brainwashed Todd rather than killing him, and Todd’s only desire in the game is to see Batman suffer and eventually die.
In the final battle, Batman rips off his faux-bat mask, revealing a sub-helmet that resembles the Red Hood mask, a clear nod from Rocksteady.
After Scarecrow unmasks Batman as Bruce Wayne for all to see, Batman persuades Todd that he can be redeemed, and he intervenes to help later in the game.
Infusing Under the Red Hood with Rocksteady’s universe works really well as a standalone storey.
The entire game revolves around Batman pushing his friends away when they try to assist him because he considers it too dangerous.
He literally locks the current Robin (Tim Drake) in a cell to prevent him from attempting to take on Scarecrow at one point, so it’s only fitting that his opponent is the Robin he let die.
To be honest, I think I like this version of the Red Hood storey better than the original.
With that said, I understand why many die-hard Batman fans may be disappointed, given that they were promised a new character, and this is essentially a renamed and recostumed version of a character who has already existed for years, and as a result, most will see the twist coming a mile away.
It works in the game, but Rocksteady’s claim that his identity would shock and amaze us all was a little misleading.
I almost wish they had made Talia al Ghul from Arkham Knight, which was a theory I had early on.
So there’s the first conclusion. Todd flips sides and vanishes, Scarecrow is injected with his own toxin as is customary, and Batman is revealed to be Bruce Wayne.
You can also play as the Joker inside Batman’s toxin-addled head, locking him away to be forgotten, which is his worst fear now that he’s dead.
Even though the main villains have been defeated, the storey ends there, and Batman returns to Gotham to finish cleaning up the streets.
It’s here that you’ll learn about the “Knightfall Protocol,” which you can activate after completing enough side-quest chains in Gotham’s Most Wanted.
It does…something, the details of which are never revealed until you press the button.
After I freed Catwoman, I did everything I could except find all the Riddler trophies.
That meant defeating Harvey Dent, Penguin, Firefly, Man-Bat, and a slew of other villains, including Deathstroke, who is brought in to replace Todd’s Arkham Knight when he goes missing, which was one of my favourite parts of the game’s conclusion (though I hated that the final battle against the assassin is yet another tank war).
What is the “Knightfall Protocol,” exactly? Now that everyone knows Batman is Bruce Wayne, he claims he has to stop being Batman for reasons that I don’t understand.
It’s not like everyone he knew wasn’t already in danger, and I’m not sure why he has to put the cowl away when it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Why can’t he do it like Tony Stark?
Batman: Arkham Knight4
But he doesn’t just “hang up the cowl,” he lands in the Batwing on his mansion’s lawn, walks inside to meet Alfred, and the entire place explodes, leaving the crowds outside gasping in horror.
The Jim Gordon voiceover from the beginning of the game says, “And this is how the Batman died,” and the credits roll.
The game pretends that one of Gotham’s villains blew up the mansion or that Bruce Wayne committed suicide, but it’s clear that he faked his own death and didn’t actually self-destruct himself and his butler, so what happens next?
If Batman reappears, no one will think, “Well, Bruce Wayne faked his death,” but rather, “Well, I guess someone else is Batman now.”
This is similar to the ending of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, which didn’t make much sense because we see Bruce strutting around overseas where anyone can recognise one of the world’s wealthiest men even though he’s supposed to be dead.
This ending irritates me greatly, and I wish I had just hung out on a rooftop and turned off my game instead of starting the Knightfall Protocol.
Yes, this isn’t the first time a hero has pretended to die, but it makes no sense in the context of the game we just finished.
He just…really, really enjoys his solitude? I understand that all of the criminals have been apprehended, but they always manage to escape, so why do this
It would have made more sense for him to fly to some remote island and leave Gotham in the hands of Nightwing, Robin, and Oracle, as he’s finally confident enough in his team to leave the city entirely in their hands.
That would have been consistent with the story’s theme.
So, when the game told me there was a “true” Knightfall ending after I’d finished finding all of Riddler’s goodies and gotten that magical 100 percent, I assumed the existing ending would be fixed.
Instead, it just gets stranger (as I discovered via YouTube), and it’s probably the game’s biggest enduring mystery.
The “real” ending includes a lengthy cutscene with Gordon musing about Gotham without Batman, followed by two robbers attacking a man and a woman in an alley, who are obviously stand-ins for Thomas and Martha Wayne.
When the robbers notice a shadow on a building, they yell that Batman is dead and that they are no longer afraid.
Arkham knight5 is a video game
Instead of swooping down to prove them wrong, the shadow lengthens, then explodes into a fiery bat demon shape, terrifying the robbers.
It’s like something out of a Scarecrow toxin nightmare.
It’s a purposefully ambiguous ending, which is to be expected given Rocksteady’s lack of interest in continuing the series.
Either Wayne has returned as Batman, and the robbers are simply seeing manifestations of their own fears of the caped crusader, or someone, either Wayne or a new player, is using the Scarecrow fear toxin to control the criminal population. It’s a scary thought.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a game end quite like this.
Many players will likely press the “Knightfall” button because it lingers in front of you like a mystery, but I doubt they will be satisfied with the clearly fake Wayne death ending.
And if they do get to 100%, I don’t think they’ll know what to do with themselves.